Kenny should be judged on actions

Call me cynical, but as moving as Taoiseach Enda Kenny’s speech was I seem to recall he’s used the catch in the throat gimmick before.

He should be judged on his actions.

The day he was elected Taoiseach his voice caught while he recalled his parent’s generation who, he said, “represent the nobility, decency and very soul of the Irish people and because they do, their spirit is with us on this important day, signifying that we are one people, ancient and new, on a journey, a single journey of continuous transformation”.

Yet they were the same generation who facilitated and colluded with the worst excesses of child abuse, physical abuse, corruption in politics, business and the professions and never once challenged the cold hard climate of the Ireland they lived in.

He also said he was making a ‘covenant’ with the Irish people because he believed ‘the old ways of politics damaged us not alone financially, but emotionally, psychologically and spiritually. The word “covenant” restores a sense of heart, soul and spirit to leadership and our shared national life’.

So a day after his tear jerking we also already see indications that not all the Magdalene survivors will be included in any compensation scheme.

There has been complete silence from the religious and a complete blackout on whether they even met the bare minimum expectations from the sordid deal they cut with Michael Woods, a man from the generation who always bended the knee and would never have even considered standing up to the religious in support of their victims.

Nearly halfway through his term in office what’s changed as a result of Mr Kenny being Taoiseach? Nothing much, the same people are still running departments and banks and the professions, the same contracts go to the same firms, the religious have still never been held to account.

Mr Kenny still happily takes his handsome salary while asking other public servants earning less to take cuts.

So it’s all very well for Mr Kenny to draw attention to the failings of others.

He is right to do so, but that finger of blame must also be pointed at him and his failure to change the way governance is carried out in Ireland.

The way decisions are taken today is not different to how it was in the 1970s when Mr Kenny began his political journey. In the same decade where we know corruption riddled every pillar of society and where abuses by the religious with the collusion of state authority was allowed go unchecked.

Desmond FitzGerald

Canary Wharf

London

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